Monday, July 16, 2012

Professor B TOS Crew Review 2012

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     As Fall is fast approaching do you find yourself in a panic over your Math curriculum? As a homeschool parent is Math the subject you struggle teaching the most? Professor B is an online Math program giving your child the opportunity to cover many math topics that are normally covered in a 3 year period in just one school year. Members of the schoolhouse review crew were given an online subscription to Professor B, we chose to review level III which is geared for 6-8 graders or for older remedial students who may need an extra boost to catch up. For this review both Taylor and Alyx both tried out the program, Taylor is entering 8th grade and Alyx is exiting 8th and going into 9th grade.

     Now in the past the online Math programs we tried out were very independent when it came to my boys in the middle school grades. Professor B differs from other online Math programs in that respect as it is set up for the parent to Teach along with Professor B, it is presented in a slide show manner which needs to be read through step by step, and the student cannot advance to the next slide without completing the problem they were presented. View a sample lesson here.

   My boys are both visual and auditory learners, but they also like to work independently in some subjects such as Math. For them this program took some getting used to as they don't read and comprehend well on their own especially when it comes to Math so they could not use this program independently they had to rely on me to help them, thus taking some of their independence they have worked so hard to gain away from them. This was a huge struggle for us in the beginning but over time they settled into it and became more comfortable with the process. I also became more comfortable being the Math teacher, which is a subject I have always struggled with since we began homeschooling and was something that prevented me from homeschooling sooner than we did. So this was a huge gain for us in that respect.

    The focus of Professor B is helping children to understand the Math concepts, versus simply memorizing the steps needed to find the correct answer.  The concepts covered in Instant Master Teacher Level III are a  focus on the different areas of fractions and ways to use them in Math. Such as comparing fractions, the use of multiplication and division of fractions, rounding of fractions, turning percentages to fractions and decimals and then changing them back again, place values and equivalent fractions as well. There were many topics of Math that were not touched on so I would not suggest this as a main Math curriculum, but as a building block for foundations of certain concepts. For the concepts it did teach I think it does a great job in teaching not just drilling the kids.

   My boys thought it was a little boring only because there was no audio to the program. They thrive on action and fun, so this was not the norm for them. There is the added benefit of a PDF workbook that correlates with the online program and reinforces the skills the children have already been taught as they move along further into the online program. I did see my boys gaining a stronger grasp of some concepts that they were struggling with in the past so I do feel it does the job that the company claims. If you are looking for a stand in Math teacher for your kids, this is not the program as it requires you to still be the teacher. If you are looking for help with teaching Math then this is the program for you. They offer Math programs for K-8th grade in both the E-learning program we reviewed or actual books. If you are interested but not sure if this is the program for you, there is a 30 day free trial you can request by calling the company to set it up.

    If you are confident this program could work for you or after you have given the free trial a run, you can purchase the E-learning program by the month or for a one year contract. You can purchase the use of more than one level at a time for a discounted price, this is a wonderful advantage for families with many age groups that could utilize the program at once. The price for one level at a time per month is $20, if you would like to use 2 levels at once you can get a discount on the second level and pay only $15 additional and then to be able to use all three you would pay an added $10 to have the advantage of using all three levels.
    If you choose to sign up for a one year contract you will receive some free Professor B gifts like a coffee mug and T-shirt.  If you are not sure which level to place your kids they offer a free placement test to make sure you are making an informed choice for your child/children.

    All in all I think that Professor B does what it claims it will do, and that is help your children to master the process of Math concepts and not just memorize the steps. The program also helps struggling parents be confident in being the Math teacher. I was so pleasantly surprised that my boys conquered some of the areas they were struggling with and I learned an effective way to teach them by walking through the program with them.
   On the downside, this is not a bells and whistles type of program, which we are used to. This is a down to basics type of approach with out all of the Hi-tech fun some other programs offer. Which means this may not be the program for every style learner. This is one of the awesome reasons I love homeschooling. If it doesn't work you can switch to something else. The children do not have to conform to the same learning curriculum if it doesn't work for them, like it is in public school. God made us all individuals, he did not use a cookie cutter, therefor there is no cookie cutter curriculum, embrace homeschooling and try everything you can to find the right fit for each of your children. They will thank you for it, I know mine do all the time.
 SO Bottom line Professor B earns a B from us, if it would have been a little more independent in learning style and a little more fun and hi tech it would have definitely earned an A. It does what it claims to do and for that I am impressed with the program.
      Feel free to take advantage of their free trial by calling them to set it up, or sail along with the Schoolhouse Review Crew and read what other crewmates had to say about Professor B. 

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my
honest review. All opinions are mine.

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